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Nov 21, 2006 01:14 AM

Food gifts for Tokyo hosts

We'd like to bring something from America for the three people who will be showing us around town in December (one day each). What is a special, easily transportable food item -- not liquid or gel because of TSA restrictions -- that might be hard to find or otherwise appreciated in Japan? I was thinking fancy chocolates but perhaps that's nothing special over there....

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  1. I have this challenge as well. Fancy chocolates are already popular in Japan... Coming from the Balt/DC area myself, I once gave a gift of Old Bay and small Maryland seafood cookbook that was well received.

    In Japan, it really is the thought that counts. Really anything that is nicely wrapped or presented will suffice.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Silverjay

      Bullseye, SilverJay.

      Gifts associated with travel are tied into "meibutsu", or local specialty. Thus, gifts that are unique to "your own region" have greater impact. The Old Bay from Baltimore fits it to a tee.

    2. What about a single malt from duty free? I've also given shelled almonds and walnuts from Central California and dried cranberrys.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

        Nuts are always a good choice, because they're expensive in Japan. Also bags of trail mix, especially the various kinds they have at Trader Joes. Fancy chocolates are popular in big cities, but maybe not so much in smaller areas. Not too fancy, but I've always found the nuts and chews assortment from See's to popular here.

        Liquids/gels can be carried in your checked luggage, just not your carry on. I know this because I arrived in Okinawa yesterday, and when I unpacked, the three bottles of organic liquid hand soap I brought to give as omiyagi leaked. :(

      2. Maple syrup is always apreciated if you can wrap it and pack it in yiour check in. Also, a friend of our always asks us to bring Dunkin Donuts dark roast. Chocolates are great.

        1. also, japanese people love american bagels.

          1. and hot chocolate mix. we have a japanese house guest with us that is giving us these tips.